I have just finished moving out of my cozy one-bedroom apartment in Ann Arbor and I’ve come to the realization that in less than a month I will once again be living out of a single suitcase. Having spent the day hauling desks and chairs and knickknacks and so many clothes I could wallpaper my apartment with them, a single suitcase seems like a ridiculously small amount of worldly possessions. But then I recall my previous time spent abroad. Studying abroad forces you to undergo several changes in a mental, emotional and physical sense. One of the more interesting of these changes is the effect on your perception of material possessions. You are forced to place all the items you think you will need/want for the duration of your study abroad in only one or two suitcases and when you return all of the gifts, souvenirs, and other items that you have accumulated must once again be placed in the same suitcase(s). My time abroad has caused me to re-evaluate what I consider essential items. Personally, I have found souvenirs to be a waste of money and space. Often they are simply trinkets that quickly lose meaning and become just another item on your shelf to be dusted. The only souvenirs from my time abroad are the pictures I took and the memories I have of good times and good friends. If you’re going abroad and worried about not having enough space to pack everything, re-evaluate what you’re taking and look at it as a chance to experience life outside of material possessions.
Culture Shock Blog
(c) Silvine Photography
Many of my photographs are taken during my travels through Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm continually seeking inspiration in the architecture I see, the local customs I engage in and the vibrant lifestyles of the people I meet. I see each photograph as a candid shot of someone's life in another country. Through my photography I want to erase borders that may exist because of distance, language or misunderstanding.
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|Shelia Carson on Spring Break in Israel|
|Marc Bower on Climbing Sinai|
Last night was my last night teaching at Better World and I’m rather sorry for that. My favorite experience being in Egypt was teaching English and Spanish at the Better World NGO classes in Heliopolis every Tuesday. My students were fun and energetic and always eager to learn. Even my duties as a daily manager […]
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Luxor with a friend of mine. It was a nice diversion from classes at AUC and very much welcomed. We took the cheapest option for getting to Luxor, an 11 hour train ride in second class. We left Cairo around 1 AM and arrived in Luxor […]
A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to climb Mt. Sinai supposedly where Moses received the commandments from God. We left late from Cairo so we would be able to reach Mt. Sinai and climb before the sunrise which actually turned out to be perfectly planned. The trip took around 7 or 8 […]
After living in and traveling around Egypt for a few months, I’ve come to realize that there is a certain art to bargaining here. For starters, Egyptian store clerks seem to think the fastest and most effective method of getting sales is hitting on any female that walks by. This certainly shocked me the first […]
This year I spent the first of my two weeks of Spring Break in Israel. We traveled from Eilat to Jerusalem and then to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea before heading back to Cairo. The trip from Cairo to Taba wasn’t bad at all, only six hours or so and I remembered to pack […]